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Rihanna explains why she turned down Super Bowl performance

Rihanna confirmed speculation that she declined to perform

Rihanna confirmed speculation that she declined to perform at last year's Super Bowl in support of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Credit: AFP via Getty Images / ANGELA WEISS

Grammy winner Rihanna has no regrets about turning down the chance to perform at last year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

In an interview for the November issue of Vogue, the music superstar confirmed that she declined to do the show due to differences with the NFL and to show support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines when he knelt during pregame renditions of the national anthem. 

He later explained that his controversial stance was a statement against the oppression people of color have endured in this country, including police brutality and racial inequality. According to The New York Times Kaepernick, who became a free agent before the 49ers could release him, later filed a grievance against the National Football League in which he asserted that NFL team owners had colluded in not hiring him because of his protests. Kaepernick filed the complaint in 2017 as several statistically inferior quarterbacks were offered contracts and he was not. He settled the case with the NFL earlier this year.

“I couldn’t dare do that,” Rihanna, 31, said about the halftime show. “For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”

Maroon 5 ended up headlining that halftime show, along with Travis Scott and Big Boi.

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